Monday, July 13, 2009

The Future of Kttsd

As you may or may not know, Kttsd is in the middle of some changes. Before Gary Cramblitt (aka phantomsdad) left the project, he made (and documented very well) a design to make kttsd basically just wrap speech-dispatcher. This design has many advantages, it simplifies kttsd code quite a bit, adds new functuonality, and makes kttsd better able to focus on what it does well, which I see as being the voice for KDE applications/desktop/platform. Kttsd has always been very good at filtering things like notifications (I use it to listen to irc and have for ages), and at providing an interface to an otherwise obscure sub-system (speech). However I also think there is definitely room for improvement =) And here's where you come in dear blog reader.

I'm considering changing up the ui a bit, to try to bring it into this century. The job list/control tab is somewhat dated, and it has always seemed a bit cumbersome to me. I'm considering making the job list more of a log of what has come in from what apps, with an easy to see view of what the filters did to the text for easy tweaking of filters (I seem to spend a bit of time each week trying to tweak the filters in one way or another). Other requests that have come on have been the ability to dynamically switch the current voice being used. So I'm thinking what if we make the jobs tab be more of a log and add a new tab for real-time speech control (change the current voice to male/female, language, pitch, speed, etc. all in realtime. Opinions anyone?

If we do the above we could also easily have a menu in kttsmgr's system tray icon to choose the voice, adjust speed/pitch, etc. on the fly also. So from you I'd like some feedback about which features you currently use in kttsd (talker chooser filter?, string replacer filter? easy (or not) access to festival/espeak/other speech system?) and what you'd like to see kttsd allow you to do in the future.

Thanks for reading and I hope next time to have some pretty pictures of a nice interface =)